Saturday, December 13, 2008

Alton Brown's Pot Roast

I made a couple of small modifications from the original recipe found on the Food Channel's website. Alton's ingredient list included 1 cup of chopped cocktail olives. I absolutely hate olives, and I omitted them. He also had the oven temperature set at 190-200 degrees. I was afraid with such a low temperature and after 3 1/2 hours of cooking, the meat would be still raw in the middle. I raised the temperature to 225 degrees.

I was very pleased with this recipe and my changes. I would certainly make this again. The meat was so tender, you could cut it with a spoon. The flavors were very unique. The rub gave the meat a slight bite. The raisins gave the sauce a hint of sweetness. The dish had a very elegant, sophisticated flavor, but nothing was overpowering. The spice rub and gravy complimented each other very nicely.

I was fooled by this recipe. One of the items I liked was the tin foil pouch. I thought clean up would be a breeze. I was wrong. While I could just throw away the tin foil, I could not throw away the blender nor the cooking pan! I'm not a good "clean as you go" cook to begin with, so I rely heavily on the dishwasher. Unfortunately our dishwasher was broken and everything had to be cleaned by hand.


  • 1 (2-pound) blade cut chuck roast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt.
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Place a wide, heavy skillet or fry pan over high heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rub both sides of meat with the salt and cumin. When the pan is hot brown meat on both sides and remove from pan.
  3. Add just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan then add the onion and garlic. Stir constantly until onion is softened. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, and raisins. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half.
  4. Create a pouch with wide, heavy duty aluminum foil. Place half the reduced liquid/chunk mixture on the foil, add the roast, and then top with the remaining mixture. Close the pouch, and wrap tightly in another complete layer of foil. Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until a fork pushes easily into the meat.
  5. Remove from oven and rest (still wrapped) for at least 1/2 hour. Snip off 1 corner of the foil pouch and drain the liquid into a bowl or measuring cup. Add some of the "chunkies" and puree with a blender. Slice meat thinly, or pull apart with a fork. Serve with sauce.

1 comment:

Ambrosia Chiller said...

Oh how I wish I could say that Tom is getting better about "cleaning as he goes" . . . but he IS a good cook!